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Three of a Kind

Producer: Hatos-Hall
Host: Jack Whitaker
Judge: Dr. William H. Davenport
Announcer: Monty Hall
Celebrities: Pat Carroll and Stubby Kaye
Taping Info: January 11, 1964 at NBC in Burbank
Made it to Air: This show is somewhat related to the 1964 unsold pilot of Chain Letter with Dennis James and is actually closer to the format the eventual airing Chain Letter in 1966 used than the James pilot.
Availability: It is not available on the trading circuit. Strangely, although UCLA has much of the Monty Hall collection, they do not have this one.

Just two weeks of the premiere of Let's Make a Deal, the Hatos-Hall production team got together on a Saturday in January to plot their next big hit. The show is Three of a Kind and features really more "two of a kind" plus a celebrity, but we won't let that get in the way of a decent premise. Jack Whitaker, who at the time was working for CBS, was tabbed as host while Monty Hall was around doing the announcing chores. Also around as a judge was Dr. William H. Davenport, one of the founding professors of Harvey Mudd College.

The teams were occupationally themed, with the two butchers paired up with Stubby Kaye and the two teachers with Pat Carroll. There were three categories on a board, with one team picking the category for the other (the leftover was not used). The team would then have to go in order coming up with as many things as possible that fit the category (e.g.: five letter classroom items). The team continued to play, racking up $10 per correct guess until they could not come up with anymore.

The second round was pretty much the main game of the later Hatos-Hall show Chain Letter, where the team would, based on the category given, have to come up with a word that not only fit the category but started with the last letter from the previous answer. For example, if the clue was attorneys, the first answer could be "patent" followed by a good second answer "trademark" or a bad second answer "tax". $20 was given for each correct answer. There was no bonus game.

Nothing special here but nothing terrible either. It's a light-hearted game that with the right celebrities is a pleasant way to spend a half-hour. My only debit here would be Jack Whitaker as a host, they needed someone who could be a little more freewheeling and fun.

This pilot has been viewed 8104 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
Feedback? Contact me at usgs-pilot at the usgameshows dot net domain